Moving large organizations is never easy. It can only be accomplished one measured step at a time. That's why it is refreshing to see Pinellas School Superintendent Michael Grego striving to take those quiet steps in a district so in need of a course correction.
Grego, on the job seven months and fresh off launching an optional summer program for struggling students, last week assembled key administrators to quietly brainstorm ways to improve the district's most struggling schools — from considering demographics and boundaries to curriculum. It is the first of several meetings he hopes to hold with the group before announcing any firm plan publicly.
The Tampa Bay Times reported Saturday that 11 schools were discussed in the meeting. But Grego told the editorial board Tuesday that the number is not set in stone. It could grow or shrink depending on where the group's discovery leads and the consensus that emerges on strategies to improve student performance. He anticipates it could include specific curriculum changes or new magnet programs or even some districtwide change, such as a parental participation requirement to better communicate to families how they are expected to contribute to children's learning.
"Everything is on the stage … but we can't do everything the first year," Grego said this week. "This is about looking at the research and forcing the questions about schools that could use the attention."
Pinellas school families and taxpayers alike look forward to hearing the plan.